Nell Greenfieldboyce

Nell Greenfieldboyce appears in the following:

As Engines Sputter To Life, Vintage Spacecraft Turns Toward Moon

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A gung-ho group of space enthusiasts has started the process of putting a vintage NASA spacecraft on a new flight path, so that this venerable piece of hardware will be able to do useful science once again.

The old spacecraft, called ISEE-3, launched back in August 1978. Its original ...


A Shocking Fish Tale Surprises Evolutionary Biologists

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Unrelated lineages of electric fish all use the same small set of genes to create their voltage, a genetic search shows. Maybe the same genes could one day power pacemakers, bioengineers suggest.


How To Become A Neanderthal: Chew Before Thinking

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The strong jawline and pronounced teeth of of Neanderthals likely evolved before their large braincase, scientists say. The evidence? A treasure of bones recovered from a single cave in Spain.


Is Collecting Animals For Science A Noble Mission Or A Threat?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Museums are filled with dead insects, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles meticulously gathered worldwide in the name of scientific discovery. But some researchers now say scientists should think twice.


Big Flightless Birds Come From High-Flying Ancestors

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We're sure glad ostriches and emus don't fly. But DNA evidence now suggests their small ancestors flew to each continent, where they evolved independently into giants with stubby wings.


Why This Octopus Isn't Stuck-Up

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Some chemical in octopus skin acts as a repellent to the little suction cups on the arms, a surprise finding shows. Without it, the eight-armed creature would tie itself in knots.


'Past The Point Of No Return:' An Antarctic Ice Sheet's Slow Collapse

Monday, May 12, 2014

NASA held a press conference to discuss the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise. The researchers announced that the ice s...


Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

DNA's instructions are written in a code of four molecular "letters," labeled A, C, T and G. For the first time, researchers have created and inserted two brand-new letters into a living cell.


Who's Protecting Whom From Deadly Toxin?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Questions are swirling around a science journal's decision last year to publish a description of a newly discovered botulinum toxin while omitting key genetic details that researchers would normally disclose.

The unusual case highlights important unresolved issues in how to balance scientific openness with the worry that biological information ...


Scientists Spot A Planet That Looks Like 'Earth's Cousin'

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kepler-186f is almost the same size as Earth, and it orbits in its star's "Goldilocks zone"-- where temperatures may be just right for life. But much is unknown because it's also 500 light-years away.


Climate Change Adjustments Must Be Fast And Major, U.N. Panel Says

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Greenhouse gas emissions will have to drop 40 to 70 percent by 2050 — and then drop even more, to nearly zero by the end of this century — a new U.N. report says.


Scientists Publish Recipe For Making Bird Flu More Contagious

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Dutch virologist accused of engineering a dangerous superflu a few years ago is back with more contentious research.

In 2011, Ron Fouchier and his team at Erasmus Medical Center took the H5N1 flu virus and made it more contagious. Now the team has published another study with more ...


Smithsonian's Air And Space Museum To Get $30 Million Spiffier

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Curators say they'll use the big grant from Boeing to better highlight how exploratory flight — from the Spirit of St. Louis to the Starship Enterprise — has transformed the world.


Ethicists Tell NASA How To Weigh Hazards Of Space Travel

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Risks to astronauts on extended missions include vision impairment, weakened bones and radiation exposure. There are also psychological risks from facing danger while being stuck inside a small craft.


New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The tiny world is a pink-hued ball of ice in an area of space once thought to be relatively empty. But the new findings hint of other small objects — and perhaps an unseen planet bigger than Earth.


This Freeloading Bird Brings Help — And The Help Smells Gross

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The great spotted cuckoo is a parasitic bird that plops its eggs in nests of other birds, so others can care for its chicks. Those chicks might aid the caretaker bird by helping to repel predators.


Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In the 1980s, NASA engineer Robert Farquhar came up with a sly plan to divert the ISEE-3 satellite from its original path to visit a comet instead. Now Farquhar has another big plan for his "baby."


At 4.4 Billion Years Old, Oz Crystals Confirmed As World's Oldest

Monday, February 24, 2014

Zircon crystals found in sandstone on an Australian sheep ranch are so tiny that you'd need a magnifying glass to see them. But recent measurements confirm they offer our earliest glimpse of Earth.


Drugmakers And NIH Band Together To Speed Up Research

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The National Institutes of Health is teaming up with major drug companies in a new effort to identify disease-related molecules and biological processes that could lead to future medicines.

The public-private partnership is called AMP, for the "Accelerating Medicines Partnership," and it will focus first on Alzheimer's disease, Type ...


Polar Bear Researcher Gets $100,000 In Settlement With Feds

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears raised alarms about climate change has received $100,000 to settle a whistle-blower complaint against an agency of the Department of the Interior.

Under the settlement, wildlife researcher Charles Monnett retired from his job at the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ...